Freedom 251, the world’s cheapest smartphone priced Rs 251, is supposed to start getting delivered today. But if you go to Ringing Bells’ website, there’s little faith in these new claims.
The landing page has no mention of Freedom 251. It does not make any sense that why the company itself is not marketing its most revolutionary product at the home page of its website.The top six devices mentioned are the new phones, four of them feature phones, all priced between Rs 699-Rs 4999. Yes, this makes you wonder why a company which a Rs 251 smartphone is even making a feature phones that cost Rs 699, almost three times the price of the former.
Meanwhile, the so-called Freedom LED TV is listed as ‘Coming soon’. Remember, the company claims it has 1 lakh units of this cheap Rs 9,990 LED TV in stock. Yet, on the website, it only gets mentioned as ‘Coming’ soon. And clicking on that doesn’t take you anywhere.
Ringing Bells has promised that 5,000 units of the Freedom 251 will be delivered to customers on July 8, which is today, followed by a second batch with a similar number of units. This is way to far from the 2 lakh units of Freedom 251 the company claimed it will deliver. And all indications are that Ringing Bells has shifted focus to other phones and their coming soon dream project.
Ringing Bells CEO Mohit Goel had promised a ‘lucky draw’ for people who would get the phone at the launch event. The launch event happened yesterday, but not the lucky draw. No surprises there.
For a company which rose to fame on the hype around this Rs 251 smartphone, it sure doesn’t want to give much prominence to the product that has created all this buzz. There’s no option to buy the Freedom 251 and all you can see are the specs, other features highlighted. To be honest, none of this should come as a shock to anyone who has followed this story.
The company’s befuddling maths justifying the Rs 251 price tag never quite made sense to anyone. Most industry experts agree: the cheapest smartphone with these kind of specs will cost Rs 2,500 to make at least.
Also subsidising the price of this phone would require deep pockets, and given we don’t know how Ringing Bells is financing itself, this is another mystery. On being asked how the company plans to recover cost price on Freedom 251, Ringing Bells president Ashok Chadha said, “Our bill of material cost remain between Rs 1,250 – 1,400 for Freedom 251, and our selling price is Rs 251. Obviously there’s a gap.”
Goel created a stir when he announced that Ringing Bells will give away 95 per cent profits to charity. Ha ha ha ha…umm..that doesn’t stop me from laughing. What is unclear is how the company plans to make profits given it is incurring a loss on the Rs 251 smartphone.
While getting a Freedom 251, Ringing Bells’ first smartphone, still seems like a far distant dream, we will have to wait and watch how the company plans to deliver its new products to customers.
So after reading the story you must have got an idea that booking the so called Freedom LED TV will not make any sense as the company has not yet made any progression on getting the pre-booked smartphones to the customers.